Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2015 will be my year.

I'm feeling optimistic about 2015.

I'm sure things may come along that could bend, break, or even kill me, but I'm surprisingly hopeful that I have a great year ahead.

I've recently felt a sense of renewed energy towards life - my marriage, my friendships, my job, my home, my health, my blog (!!), etc. There's a passion that I haven't felt in a long time and there's a drive behind that passion.

Halfway through this year - July to be exact - I became increasingly unhappy. Most days I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water.

On one particularly stressful day, my parents gently pointed out that I was the source of most of my stress.

I was the one agreeing to teach Wilton cake classes in the evenings, even though I have a regular job that already keeps me away from home 11 hours a day.

I was the one setting high expectations for my English Bulldog and then getting frustrated when he wouldn't cooperate. (English Bulldogs are notoriously lazy, but Otis has agility dog potential).

(Not Otis pictured.)
And although it looks like Pippa, it's not Pippa. 
Pippa can't get airborne.

I remember telling my mom how frustrated I was that the dogs were being difficult on walks, and then my mom just shrugged and said "So don't take them on walks."

Sometimes the solutions to our problems are so glaringly obvious and simple.

Basically, after that, I quit everything. I stopped teaching 3rd grade Sunday School and I told Wilton that I wasn't going to teach those cake decorating classes either. I didn't renew my gym membership. I didn't sign Otis up for the next level of agility class. I was running back and forth from Raleigh to Durham to Raleigh to Durham to Raleigh all in one day and it was wearing me thin.

One of my biggest worries of freeing up my evenings was that I would feel judged by Brian.

You see, Brian loves stress. Honestly, I've never met someone that enjoys stress as much as he does. He likes to constantly have projects, ideally several projects going at once.

I can leave for work at 6:30 in the morning, work all day, get off work, run errands, buy groceries, straighten up the bedroom, make dinner, and take care of the dogs. But the second I sit down on the couch, Brian's like "Um, do you need something to do?"

Brian is a doer.
I've learned that Doers do not like Couch Sitters.

Fortunately, I'm able to look past Brian's judgement. :-)

Recently, my biggest project has been finishing a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle.
It's taking me forever and a day.
The other night as I was working (on puzzle), Brian was like "I'm in the mood for us to clean the whole house."
And you know what I told him?

Looking back on the latter half of 2014, I can't say I've done that much. I've given myself permission to do nothing and not feel guilty about it. I've had the freedom to relax, unwind, and rejuvenate.

But now, once I finish this puzzle, I feel ready to take on the world.

2015 will be my year.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Forgo the Lights, Forgo the Tree. Less Work for Brian, Less Work for Me!

I love holidays, especially Christmas.

When Brian and I first started dating, I remember being REALLY EXCITED for all the memories we'd make and the cute Christmas traditions we'd create together.

Do you know how many Christmas traditions we've created together?


Do you know how many Christmas trees are up at our house right now?


Do you know how many Christmas movies we've watched this year?


If you've been around me for any length of time, you've probably heard me say my favorite phrase, "Brian's gonna do what Brian wants to do."

I learned early on to pick my battles.

Brian doesn't want to drive around and look at Christmas lights. He's probably never going to decorate a gingerbread house with me. He doesn't want to go ice skating at North Hills (I just asked him. He said no). He's not interested in cuddling on the couch, drinking eggnog, and reading The Polar Express.

He's just not very festive and he's not romantic, so I don't try to force it.

When we first moved into our house back in 2012, it was pretty close to Christmastime, but I decided to hold off on decorating that year. I knew Brian wouldn't care either way, so it was just easier not to deal with it.

Christmas 2013 rolled around and I decided, once again, that I would pass on the decorating.

This December rolled around and I thought about it. For one second.

I remember decorating for Christmas at our house when I was growing up. It was an ALL DAY EVENT. We would have an assembly line from the attic to the living room, transporting box after box after box. I actually enjoyed helping! But then, when Christmas was over and it was time to put everything away, I was nowhere to be found. :-)

So, yeah. Not decorating has been a good decision for me.

Okay. I know what you're thinking.

"But Kelly, your house is rustic, like a mountain lodge, and it would look SO PERFECT decorated for the holidays!"

I know, I know. I hear you.

It's true I have grand Christmas decorating ideas for the future, but it's just not in the cards this year. It involves a lot of Pottery Barn spending.

So, I'll celebrate Christmas in my own little way.

Tonight I'll pour a glass of wine, light my fresh balsam candle, put Vince Gill Holiday radio on Pandora, and work on a 1,000 piece Christmas jigsaw puzzle.

I should probably go ahead and move into a nursing home. ;-)

Monday, December 15, 2014

I got a new car. It's a Honda. Go figure.

Dear readers (or reader?),
Sorry if you tried to visit my blog the past two weeks and couldn't access it. I changed the settings temporarily to "author view only" and then life got kind of crazy.

Brian and I had a hectic few days, but we got through it.

Good news! I got a new car last Saturday. 

Y'all know how much I just love talking cars. Ha! Remember Ode to the Cars

I kid you not, Brian comes up with a new "car plan" every 8 hours. Like, most days I get home from work and Brian starts the conversation with "So, here's the plan..."

Some days he's wanting an old pickup truck. Some days he's selling the Jetta. Every day he's in the market for a Porsche.

Are you surprised my hair is prematurely turning gray? 
Yeah, me neither.

So anyways, we finally decided the VW Touareg had to go, so Brian came up with a plan:

He'd drive my Civic, since it has better gas mileage than his other two, and I'd get to pick out a new used car. 

I picked a black 2012 Honda Accord! 

Brian doesn't share my excitement about the new black Honda. He said there's nothing exciting about looking at a dirty black car in the driveway for the next several years. LOL!

Brian also thinks Hondas are boring. Maybe it's the reliability? He likes driving the Jetta and being surprised at what breaks. ;-)

Even though I couldn't care less what I drive, I've been really happy with my Hondas. I'd probably still be driving my original Civic had my sister not backed into it with her SUV that fateful day in 2009.

My Honda lineup:
This car!! Those tail lights!!

 Here's Old Faithful. The only thing more reliable is your two feet!

New Accord there in the middle!

Brian has his doubts I'll keep this car clean and scratch-free. Hmm....we'll see.

Usually, to find out if I'm too close to the curb, I'll try this little maneuver:


So it's probably just a matter of time.